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Smoky brisket beef chilli con black beans {chilli con carne}


Seasonal Paleo and gluten free recipes 

Smoky brisket beef chilli con black beans {chilli con carne}

Laura | Lau Sunday cooks

During my first five months in England I lived with a Mexican woman and her family. It was a large and rather chaotic family made up from her daughter - from a previous marriage, the husband and his two sons - also from a previous marriage, and then their joint baby.  Oh and not to forget the mad dog!  I was the nanny, and I’m sure I had been the only sane person out of everyone - and I’m Spanish !

At that time living together with the family, I not only discovered that my patiences has no limit and you can love those little creatures after spending no time at all with them, but also, chilli con carne had not originate from Mexico ?!

I found this fact out one day, when she told me some of her family would be coming over from Mexico to stay with us all for a couple of weeks.  At that point my mind started imagining the house full of the stereo typical Mexican’s all wearing Mexican hats and ponchos.

I don’t know about you but, I find these “ethic jokes” very funny. When someone asks me if I wear the Spanish traditional Flamenco dress to go to work in for example, I typically respond quick-wittedly by saying something like, “nah, I only get to wear to the supermarket now a-days”.

But, of course, I didn’t say anything out loud to her just in case she might not have understood my humour and felt offended... you never know how the other person might react.  And it was a good thing I didn’t too...!  because two seconds after asking her if we would have a traditional Mexican chilli con carne, I realised from her reaction and annoyance that I’d said something wrong. 

Fortunately, I’m very good at coming through awkward situations like this, and quickly recovered by changing the subject and asking if her relatives will be wearing Mexican hats ?  For some inexplicable reason, the following week she told me they didn’t need me anymore.

What a pity, I didn’t get to meet her family and ask them how to cook fajitas!

Smoky brisket beef chilli con black beans {chilli con carne}

Serves 6-8

This chilli con carne uses beef brisket to give far more of a texture and flavour. The ancho and chipotle chillies give just the right amount of heat with a hint of a smoky flavour.  


2 large dried ancho chillies

2 chipotle chillies 

1 kg. beef brisket, cut into 3 cm / 1.2 in. pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon dried oregano

 1 l. (4 cups) organic stock beef

1/3 cup (80 ml) barbecue sauce (I used Jack Daniel’s sauce)

1 tablespoon chipotle sauce

1 bay leaf

2 red peppers, trimmed, seeded and finely chopped

2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons light muscovado sugar

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

400 g / 1 can black beans, rinsed, drained

400 g / 1 can red kidney beans, rinsed, drained

Steamed rice, handmade guacamole, nachos and some parsley leaves, to serve


In a heatproof bowl, add in the ancho and chipotle chillies and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 30 minutes. Then, carefully drain the chillies, chop them finely, reserving the seeds, and set aside.

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large casserole over a medium heat. Line with kitchen roll a large plate. Add in half the beef and brown slightly on all sides, for about 2-3 minutes. Remove to the lined plate, then repeat the operation with the remaining beef and another tablespoon of olive oil  

Once the beef is browned and set aside, in the same casserole, add another tablespoon of olive oil and cook the onion until soft. Then add in the garlic, ground cumin, smoked paprika, cinnamon and oregano and cook for 1 minute stirring constantly.

Whisk the cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons of beef stock in small bowl, then add it to the casserole along with the barbecue sauce, chipotle sauce, bay leaf, red peppers, tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, the remaining beef stock, the reserved beef and the chopped chillies and seeds. 

Stir well to combine, then partially cover with the lid and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and summer for 1 hour and half or until the beed is very tender, checking and stirring every 15 minutes or so to make sure the mixture doesn’t catch on the bottom of the casserole.

Add the beans and summer for a further 15 minutes. Season and top with parsley, serve with steamed rice, handmade guacamole sauce and some nachos for dipping to the side.

Recipe from What Katie Ate at the weekend’s cookbook